The Office of the Investor Advocate was established at the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 24, 2014, when Rick A. Fleming was appointed as the Commissions first Investor Advocate.
We work to ensure that the needs of investors are considered as decisions are made at the SEC, at self-regulatory organizations (SROs), and in Congress. We analyze the potential impact on investors of proposed regulatory changes, identify problems that investors have with investment products and financial service providers, and recommend changes to statutes and regulations for the benefit of investors.
The Investor Advocate appoints an Ombudsman who acts as a liaison to assist retail investors in resolving problems they may have with the Commission or an SRO. Tracey L. McNeil is the SECs first Ombudsman.See more about the services of the Ombudsman.
Under the leadership ofDr. Brian Scholl, the Office of the Investor Advocate is responsible for investor research. The research may encompass surveys, focus groups, and other methods to gain insight into investor behavior and provide data regarding policy choices. In addition, the Office reviews the economic analyses of rulemakings to ensure that they appropriately reflect the impact on investors from proposed rule changes.
To Support the SECs Investor Advisory Committee.
The Office provides staff and operational support for the Committee, and the Investor Advocate serves as a statutory member.See more about the Committee.
While the Investor Advocate reports to the Chair of the SEC, the position nonetheless involves a measure of independence. The Office was established pursuant to a Congressional mandate, and the law requires the Investor Advocate to submit reports directly to Congress, without any prior review or comment from the Commissioners or SEC staff.
The Investor Advocate files two reports to Congress each year:
, due each June 30, which sets forth the objectives of the Investor Advocate for the following fiscal year, and
, due each December 31, which describes the activities of the Investor Advocate during the immediately preceding fiscal year.
We identify a short list of top policy priorities each year. In Fiscal Year 2018, we are focused on the following priorities. For details, please click each link below to see the corresponding section of ourReport on Objectives for FY 2018.
NEW:Important Issues for Investors in 2019, Speech by Rick Fleming at SEC Speaks 2019
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Speeches, Public Statements, and White Papers
How the SEC Works to Protect Senior Investors
See all Speeches, Public Statements, and White Papers
Report on Activities for FY 2018(filed Dec. 20, 2018)
Report on Objectives for FY 2019 (filed June 29, 2018)
Report on Activities for FY 2017(filed Dec. 20, 2017)
The Investor Advocate has submitted Recommendations:
Draft Amendments to MSRB Rules on Primary Offering Practices(Sept. 17, 2018)
To FINRA Regarding Quantitative Suitability Obligation(June 19, 2018)
To the SEC on a Proposal from CHX for an Access Delay (Speedbump)(Feb. 27, 2018)